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Getting Millennials Involved In Politics

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politics
Since our most recent Presidential election, it has been more important than ever for millennials to use their voice in politics. Millennials make up a large portion of the population, and by getting involved, it can create an impact on society. Since The Great Recession, this generation has experienced unique struggles and are rightfully angry. Unemployment was at an all time high and wages fell once it was all over. Millennials are the most educated generation in American history, both in degrees and college graduates. However, what was once a job promised after graduation is no more. Millennials feel the need for a moral rebirth and are getting involved in issues now more than ever.
We got in touch with Bryan Leib, an activist trying to get more millennials involved in politics. Bryan works with nonprofits in Philly and Camden as a mentor for the youth. We asked him about the importance of politics for millennials and ways to get involved. 

Why is it important for millennials to be involved in politics?

It’s mission critical for millennials to be actively involved and engaged in politics in order to influence public policy and to improve our communities. Local politics that is. I'm a big believer that the best position to influence change is at the local level. I know Presidential politics excites a lot of millennials but honestly, that isn't where we can make an impact.

What is the reason most millennials are not involved in politics?

I think it's because of voter apathy and an overall frustration for the political process. I find that most millennials are frustrated with the status quo, career politicians and they don’t think their vote can make a difference. Over the last two years in Philadelphia, we have witnessed a United States Congressman, PA Attorney General, PA State Treasurer, State/City Judges and PA State Representatives convicted of corruption/bribery/racketeering charges. The Philadelphia District Attorney was indicted on +20 federal counts of bribery and fraud. A lot of us are numb to the entire political process because of those reasons and because of the current power structure and lack of accountability. How does a millennial get excited about politics with career politicians like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D) and Senator John McCain (R) at the top of the power structure in their respective parties.  Both in their 70's and have held office for over 30 years. Average age of Member of the U.S. House of Representatives is 57 years and the U.S. Senate is 61 years. https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/c527ba93-dd4a-4ad6-b79d-b1c9865ca076.pdf

What are ways to get millennials involved in politics?

Well, I’ve always suggested that if one wants to get involved with politics that they should volunteer for a campaign or intern in the office of an elected official. Volunteering for a campaign is a sure fire way to get your feet wet and make a substantial amount of political and community connections. Being involved with a campaign from the ground floor through election day is a pretty good primer for anyone who wants to aspire to run for public office office. Another way to get involved is to start attending local civic and neighborhood association monthly meetings. They are typically open to the public, free and donuts are involved.

How did you get involved in politics?

I've always been involved with civic organizations and nonprofits in Philadelphia and Camden. Public service is in my DNA. I personally believe that politics should be 100% public service. Elected officials should show up to work every day with only one agenda item - how do they improve the community and serve the public at large.  My foray into politics was volunteering in the 2015 Mayoral Race in Philadelphia. I started as a part-time finance intern and within a couple months of proving myself to the candidate and campaign staffers, I was attached to the hip with my Mayoral Candidate as his traveling aide. We went all over the city to build new relationships and talk to community members about the issues that were important to them and their families. Shout out to State Senator Tony Williams - he showed me the ropes, put me on the map and is an amazing public servant. For that, I am eternally grateful.

What would the impact be if more millennials became involved?

Game-changer of epic proportions! We have the opportunity to re-write the entire political landscape as we know it today by 1) Voting and organizing in local elections 2) Supporting our fellow millennials in running for public office. Philadelphia millennials are the largest registered voting bloc in the city with +300,000 registered voters. However, in the 2015 Primary for offices like Mayor and City Council - only 12% of registered millennials went to the polls. I attribute his to voter apathy. To put this in perspective, there are 230,356 registered voters between the ages 35-65 who voted in the 2015 Primary. If millennials increased to a 50% voter turnout in Philadelphia then would make up +40% of the total voting electorate. With percentages like that, we can start changing the political landscape as we know it today. The power to change our future lies in our hands.

Is it difficult to stay up to date with politics?

I don't think so. In today’s age of social media, it’s not very difficult to stay up to date on what’s happening in politics. New media organizations like Billy Penn have launched throughout the country focused on keeping our generation informed and engaged. In addition, elected officials are more accessible than ever and if you really want to have a conversation with your elected official, they are probably only a tweet or email away.

What advice would you give to anyone interested in politics?

Start locally by 1) Getting involved in a local campaign or with your local civic association 2) Don't be afraid to run for public office and fight for your community. We can change the political landscape by 2020 by being involved in local politics - I guarantee it! We can make an immediate impact by voting and running for public office at all levels - Congress, Mayor, State House, City Council and City Commissioners. Sky is the limit.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

Business

Tips On Tracking Business Miles

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tracking business miles
Are you one of those people who scramble around for auto deductions every time tax season comes along or do you avoid auto deductions because you think they are not worth the hassle?
Believe it or not, many businesses miss significant tax deductions simply because they do not keep up with tracking business miles. The good news is that tracking business miles is not a big chore. You just need a good system in place and tracking business miles is easy. Here are some tips to consider.

Use An App

Most businessmen use a smartphone and they have apps you can download to keep track of business miles. MileIQ, TripLog and TrackMyDrive are available for iOS and Android. Every time you take a trip, the app records the miles using GPS tracking and then allows you to classify the trips as business, personal, medical and other custom categories. You can also add additional details or purpose for the trips.

Daily Log

You can also use the old paper and pencil method by using a daily log you can keep in your glove compartment. The IRS wants detailed documentation so your logs need to contain date of travel, purpose (client name, meeting with supplier, banking, meeting with accountant, etc) and starting point and destination of every trip. You can also record the actual mileage if you want by taking note of the odometer meeting from the starting point to the end point.If you are only using 1 car for business and personal use, record the odometer reading at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year so that you can compute business use percentage.

Sampling Method

This method assumes that you travel almost the same amount for business every year. It also entails the use of detailed appointment books. Under this method, you keep track of your business mileage using a sample figure for a period and then use it to extrapolate your mileage for the whole year. You must keep a record of your mileage for the first three months for example and back it up with appointment books. You don’t have to use three months. You can use 1 week, 2 months or any time duration you think that best represents your business mileage for the year.

GPS Mileage Tracker

There are tracking devices you can install in your car so that it can keep track of business and personal miles. Using a Wifi system, the GPS device records driving and then uploads it to the internet so that mileage logs are created automatically. Some of them have business buttons you can push so that trips are set automatically to business. The IRS trusts GPS mileage trackers because they are usually tamper proof and backed up so that they can protect information in the case of an audit.Keep good records to maximize tax deductions that you are entitled to with the IRS. This way, you won't pay more than you owe and won’t get slaughtered by the IRS auditor.
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Sleep Better With Tomorrow Sleep To Improve Work Performance

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tomorrow sleep
Our working life consists of long office hours to various days of sleepless nights. Tomorrow Sleep is a hybrid between traditional mattresses and new modern technology to help you through those rough nights. Tomorrow products are designed to help improve your wellness by fulfilling your sleeping experience. To ensure comfort and support, Tomorrow has enabled a combination between the temperature regulating memory foam with a stabilizing coil system to enhance your night’s sleep. With the additional sleep reports, bed warmer, smart alarm, and more, this mattress company has changed the sleeping industry for the better.
During busy hours, hard workers tend to forget about their well being once their mind is set to work. That alone may be desirable to entrepreneurs since it can boost productivity, however, it can be counted as the negative opposite. Sleep deprivation undergo all of these unhealthy habits. The average amount of sleep hours an adult needs in a day is in close proximity to 8 hours a night. The cost of poor sleep is not in the increase of productivity, but in the lack of quality. A lost in sleep reduces brain function, leaving you unable to produce decent work. The effects of lack of sleep on productivity is well recorded, negatively affecting work performance - productivity and quality. Without proper sleep, you will have more issues in concentrating, learning, and communicating. This can result in slower reaction times on problem solving due to memory lapses, or more noticeably, the moody and intolerant behavior. In an interview with Bryan Murphy, Founder and President of Tomorrow Sleep, he explains how with Tomorrow Sleep, the smart mattress can properly get you the sleep you need in order to be productive the next day. tomorrow sleep

What is Tomorrow Sleep?

Tomorrow, which launched in June, is a new sleep company that combines a direct-to-consumer ethos with 100 years of American manufacturing expertise. Leveraging the knowledge and research of industry leader Serta Simmons Bedding, Tomorrow created the first truly connected sleep system with smart technology designed to help you transform your sleep and achieve your deepest, most restorative rest, offered at an incredible value that wouldn’t be possible in traditional brick and mortar stores.

What is the company passionate about?

Tomorrow was founded on the principles of a well-balanced, healthy life. We believe overall wellness requires truly restorative sleep, and having the right tools makes all the difference and that sleep is a fundamental pillar of wellness. We’re dedicated to offering our customers a better tomorrow and our mission is to provide a holistic system of products that allows people to achieve their best sleep night after night, so they can be anything they want to be in the morning.

How is Tomorrow Sleep different from other mattresses?

It really boils down to experience, control and scale.  We have over a century of experience designing and engineering sleep products. Our own manufacturing, supply and quality operations here in the US produce millions of beds per year. Having this experience, control and scale allows us to invest in cutting edge, premium materials that deliver real benefits directly to our customer at a great price. As a result, we offer a premium hybrid mattress that’s designed with temperature regulating memory foam and a gently stabilizing, wrapped coil system, available at a direct to consumer price.

What started Tomorrow Sleep?

We saw that people are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of sleep as a cornerstone of wellness, however there wasn't a great solution to address that need in the direct-to-consumer space. We set out to solve two problems. First, by and large, most direct-to-consumer mattresses are made up of all foam and as such people complain that they lack support and sleep hot. Second, the bedding microclimate largely governs your ability to fall asleep quickly and stay in deep sleep. So, we set out to design a truly integrated sleep system that would help keep you comfortable, and give you the most restorative sleep possible.  We then paired that system with smart technology that allows you to learn how you sleep and help improve it.

What kind of special features are included to the products?

Tomorrow provides a totally new kind of hybrid mattress, combining premium temperature regulating memory foam with a gently stabilizing, wrapped coil system that offers the perfect balance of comfort and support. Our mattress has been expertly designed and tirelessly tested to ensure every coil in our mattress flexes separately to give you unparalleled head-to-toe support and the freedom to move, while our patented ventilated rail system helps maintain a well-balanced climate all night long.Additionally, our holistic system - which includes pillows, sheet set, comforter, mattress protector and Sleeptracker® monitor - was designed to work together with the Tomorrow mattress in order to help our customers go from restless to ready for a better tomorrow. Our sleep products are made from premium materials to create the ideal sleep environment.

Is Tomorrow Sleep trying to improve? If so, how?

We’re the first sleep company to combine a holistic approach with over 100 years of sleep experience, so we’re doing things differently from the start. We’re working to improve the mattress market as a whole by offering innovative products designed to help customers transform their sleep and achieve their deepest, most restorative rest.

How is Tomorrow Sleep supporting their customers?

Customer first is a core value. We’re giving our customers the tools to transform their sleep and achieve their deepest, most restorative rest. Having a direct and personal relationship to our customer through our direct-to-consumer model allows us to make sure they are happy with our products and helps us to innovate better and more quickly.

What should people look forward to when buying your products?

With Tomorrow’s products, customers will have everything they need to sleep to their full potential.

How important is sleep?

We believe that sleep is an essential and critical component of overall wellness, just as important as nutrition, exercise and mindfulness. Sleep has unparalleled restorative powers and when we get a quality night’s rest with the proper climate and conditions, we’re able to perform better.

Why do others need to be more aware about how they sleep?

Sleep keeps our daily performance at peak condition, and we feel it’s important to enlighten consumers on the benefits of getting truly restorative rest. The more aware people are of how they’re sleeping, the easier it is to improve and achieve the best sleep possible. Our Tomorrow Sleeptracker® monitor uses bio sensors to peacefully monitor and record sleep cycles, body movements and heart rate, and delivers personalized suggestions for better sleep.  Whether you’re in light sleep, deep sleep or REM, our Sleeptracker® monitor knows how much time you spend in each stage and offers feedback and tips to help you understand and directly improve your sleep.

What message are you trying to pass with your company?

Our goal for Tomorrow is to educate people on sleep’s role in overall wellness, and provide people with a holistic system of tools designed to help them live a better life, which we believe starts with a good night’s rest.
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Business

How to Build Your Own Startup

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build your own startup
Ever wonder how to build your own startup? The startup world is full of entrepreneurs who want to take their dream business from Point A to point B. Getting your business off its feet can be hard because many people are not equipped with basic business skills. In the startup culture, getting your idea to become profitable is the dream, and it's always a race to set it up. If you're thinking about starting a business, here are some tips to consider to get yourself going.

Network to build your own startup

Look for people who have "been there and done that". These people know what they are doing and can provide you with practical tips and advice on how to start. Also ask about mistakes to avoid and things to watch out for so you don’t have to learn the hard way.

Research Your Market

Market research can tell you if your idea is worth pursuing. Start your research by stating the problem and see if your business idea is the solution. Figure out how many people have this problem, and talk to them to see what they can say through a survey. Check out the competition to see how you are different and figure out how you can beat them.

Find A Mentor to help build your own startup

One of the best ways to start a startup is by finding a mentor that can guide you along the way.  Your mentor can be somebody whom you can bounce ideas off of. Mentors are some of the most important and valuable resource you can tap into. They can help you take your business from idea to success through their guidance and coaching.

Brand Your Business

Branding is not only about choosing a name for your business. It is about your business identity. Choose a name that conveys the idea of your startup or the problem it solves. By this time you should also have a domain name and have marketing materials ready.

Business Plan

A business plan is like a blueprint for your business that tells you what you are going to do and how you’re going to do it. Your business plan should also have an "attack" on how you can "battle" the competition. Determine what you want to accomplish with your business and steps on how you can get there.

Your Workplace

Where you decide to work has an impact on your startup. Some people choose to work at home to save money, while others rent space or share an office with other businesses. Don’t be afraid to experiment on locations for your workplace.

Accelerator Program to help build your own startup

Think about applying for an accelerator program. These are programs that provide startups with coaching, network or small investment to help the business take off quickly.  Take accelerator programs with a  grain of salt, because some of them will require you to part with equity.

Raise Capital

Capital for startups usually comes from the founders. Other startups get capital from venture capitalists, angel investors or loans. These investments can be a big help to startups. However, you should only take capital from sources that they understand. If you are raising capital from outside sources, figure out how much you need to raise and how it will affect your business.Having an idea for a start up is easy. The hard part is in-between the idea and success. For startups, it is crucial that their idea become reality as quickly as possible, since delays can kill the idea. While there is no wrong or right way to start a startup, following the above steps can help save time.
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